"Once upon a time people did grievous harm to the environment without fully understanding the consequences of their actions. That defence is no longer available, and that sure knowledge we now have entails equally sure moral obligations. In this context, the idea of establishing the crime of 'Ecocide' is both timely and compelling."
Jonathon Porritt, former Chair, Sustainable Development Commission
What if Ecocide was already an international law? Well, tomorrow you might just find out. At the UK's Supreme Court, a day-long mock trial will be streamed live on the internet worldwide. You can watch it by clicking here to be redirected to the Sky News website.
Two barristers will lead the case for and against Mr X, who has been charged with a number of ecocides. The ecocide he will be prosecuted for will be decided on the day. It could be:
- Deforestation of the Amazon
- Arctic drilling
- Fracking for shale gas in Nigeria
- Major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
- Bauxite mining of the Niyamgiri mountain
- Unconventional tar sands extraction in Canada
- Deep sea mining of the Central and Eastern Manus Basin
Before the case is heard, legal argument will be put as to whether Ecocide and the Earth Right to Life should be applied to the charge against Mr X. The trial will examine how the crime of Ecocide protects the Earth's Right to Life. None of this will be scripted or rehearsed and it will be ultimately for the jury to determine whether the crime of Ecocide is made out and whether the Earth's Right to Life is breached.
In the Permaculture Magazine 69, editor, Maddy Harland, interviewed Polly Higgins, the Scottish barrister behind the Eradicating Ecocide campaign. The interview was reproduced online at the Permaculture Research Institute to coincide with Polly's Australian and New Zealand tour to raise awareness of the Ecocide Campaign. Maddy will be attending the trial tomorrow and will report back to you via her blog next week.
For more information, contact The Hamilton Group, a not-for-profit organisation encouraging businesses, organisations and communities to bring responsibility for the world to the forefront of their decision-making. Contact Simon Hamilton: simon[at]thehamiltongroup[dot]org[dot]uk - +44(0) 7931 382275